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Vice-premier envisions bright pragmatic cooperation prospect during visit to S. Korea

Updated: Jan 24,2015 5:36 PM     Xinhua

Vice-Premier Wang Yang delivers a keynote speech at a welcome luncheon held by South Korea’s economic circles in Seoul, South Korea, Jan 24, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

SEOUL — China and South Korea will have a as a result of closer bilateral political ties, strong will for cooperation of companies of the two countries as well as frequent people-to- people exchanges between the two peoples, visiting Vice-Premier Wang Yang said in Seoul on Jan 24.

Wang, who visited South Korea from Jan 22 to 24 at the invitation of South Korean government, told a luncheon party hosted by South Korean business community that fruitful outcomes had been achieved during his brief visit to the country which boosted the confidence for a bright prospect of economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

As to the “new normal” of Chinese economic growth being discussed heatedly by the South Korean business circle, Wang said the “new normal” did not change the good fundamentals of the Chinese economy.

After 30 years of rapid growth, Chinese economy is now at a critical stage with emphasis on structural transformation and upgrading and will maintain a medium- and high-speed growth rate of around 7 percent, he added.

Under the “new normal”, China-South Korea economic ties would be enhanced, said the Chinese vice premier, expressing the hope that South Korean enterprises would adjust their investment policies and seize opportunities to realize sustainable development of economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

In a keynote speech delivered at the China-South Korea economic and trade forum held here Friday, Wang said over past 23 years since China and South Korea established diplomatic relations, two- way trade has surged with an annual growth rate of 21 percent, approaching $300 billion last year.

Wang said Chinese and South Korean presidents’ announcement in Beijing last November of the conclusion of substantive negotiations on the China-South Korea free trade agreement (FTA) is an important milestone for bilateral economic and trade relations, and also a new bright spot in regional economic cooperation.

On Jan 23, Wang met with South Korean President Park Geun-hye and held talks with South Korean Deputy Prime Minister Choi Kyoung- hwan.

In his meeting with Park, the vice-premier said the development of bilateral ties had maintained good momentum thanks to the efforts from both sides with the pragmatic cooperation further deepening.

Wang hoped that China and South Korea will join hands to expand people-to-people exchanges and sign the FTA at the earliest possible date and promote economic integration in Asia.

For her part, South Korean President Park Geun-hye hailed China for scoring significant achievements in efforts to realize the Chinese Dream amid a lackluster global economic recovery.

Park also praised bilateral cooperation in all fields, noting the holding of the Year of Chinese Tourism in South Korea is a big event of the people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.

The South Korean president expressed her country’s willingness to keep close communication with China and promote cooperation in all sectors so as to hammer out the FTA soon and to boost economic development of the two countries and regional cooperation in East Asia.

In his talks with South Korean Deputy Prime Minister Choi Kyung- hwan, Wang proposed the two counties get the follow-up work on the negotiation of the FTA between the two countries completed, expand strategic cooperation in emerging industries, strengthen cooperation in the sectors of new energy, telecommunication, intelligent manufacturing, high and new technologies and green, low-carbon industries, deepen reform in finance and promote regional cooperation.

Echoing Wang, Choi said with the efforts from both sides, the FTA between the two countries will be inked soon.

During his three-day visit, Wang also addressed the opening ceremony of the Year of Chinese Tourism in Seoul.